A business plan is something most entrepreneurs do not take seriously; they believe that it is only a document meant for submitting to the bank or attracting funding from potential investors. However, a business plan is a priceless guide for any entrepreneur who makes use of it. It should be workable, but not rigid; you may need to make some corrections or update it from time to time. Here is a guide on how to create a reasonable business plan:
Consider the options
There are two major options when you want to create a business plan. You could use the services of professionals or you could do it on your own. In both cases, the end result could be a reasonable business plan or an unreasonable business plan. If you are patronizing a company such as 1800 Fresh Start, Clearbanc or other companies that help with business plan production, it is important to go through their profile and read reviews to be sure that those they have created business plans for in the past were satisfied with the quality of work. Patronizing a professional will take the stress off you and once you have the right company to help you create your business plan, the only disadvantage will be the amount you will be paying for the service. On the other hand, you will need to have adequate knowledge and know what to do when you want to create the business plan on your own. The steps you could take if you want to create your business plan on your own are discussed subsequently.
Create a business concept
Before you create a business concept, you need an idea. You can have a myriad of ideas, but you need to choose the best. In other words, you need a killer business idea. Developing a business idea is not rocket science, but that does not mean you have to be unserious with it. Your idea must be viable in the market; there is no use for an idea that cannot bring you money in return. To come up with a business idea, simply look into the already existing markets around you and the products they need but are not available to them. Your idea must solve a problem. From this, you develop a concept – a concept is a mix of ideas and implementation strategies. You can speak to someone successful in your niche to explain what you need to know. This way, you will come up with a better concept and you will not waste resources as you go through the experimentation phase.
Strategize how you will market your business
Your business concept has already covered the type of product you will develop. However, it does not stop at that. Marketing is a key factor in a reasonable business plan. You should be realistic about how to market your business. This starts with knowing the various aspects of marketing, from advertising to selling to branding to customer relationships, etc. A reasonable business plan will specify the type of marketing channel and the amount of money to be spent. For instance, $2,000 on Facebook ads is realistic and definite than social media advertising. Also, you have to specify how to increase sales. Would you organize incentives for referrals or do special discounts, black Fridays, etc.? Would you be collaborating with another business to increase sales? How do you want your brand to be perceived – affordable, enthusiastic, luxurious, classy, entertaining, etc.? A reasonable business plan will cover all that and much more.
Put in place proper logistics
Logistics is another key factor in a reasonable business plan. You have to solve the problem of your products will get to the customers before you even start the business. There is no point in having a great business product and effective marketing channels but a poor logistics system. Do you have to partner with a logistics company? Or would you rather have your own logistics team? Is it possible to have distributors of your products where your customers are so that it would be easier for them to get the products? All of these and many more are what you should outline definite answers to in your business plan. However, you do not need to worry about logistics if your business is a digital product business.
Be open-minded about your business plan
For you to make significant progress in anything in life, you need to be open-minded. Every day, cultures are transformed, new trends happen, new developments occur in different niches, technology keeps advancing, etc. From time to time, you will need to update your business plan. You may need to switch products, marketing techniques, collaborate with more companies, change the interface of your website, etc. The goal is not to be stuck in business. Either directly or indirectly, everything that happens impacts businesses. Part of your job is to keep abreast of what is happening both locally and globally and make use of any opportunity you spot, no matter how small.
Evaluate your actions
It is easy to get lost without a guide. Your business plan is your roadmap to success as an entrepreneur. However, you should not follow it blindly. Find time to assess the results you have gotten from all the actions you have taken so far and to see if you are still on track. It is easy to get caught up in pointless activities, but you should not allow that. Rely heavily on numbers in your business. The numbers should determine if you should continue with a line of action, create a new strategy, or dump the business plan altogether.